If the Conservative Party win the next general election, young people who are out of work, education or training for six months will be required to do community service in order to qualify for benefits.
Young people between 18 and 21 years old would be made to do community work for up to 30 hours per week in return for a youth allowance of £57.35 a week, or £1.91 per hour of work.
David Cameron made the announcement today saying that this programme would “effectively abolish long-term youth unemployment”.
Critics condemned the Tory proposals as being “commensurate to slavery,” while campaign group Youth Fight for Jobs pointed out the plans would leave young people earning an equivalent wage of £1.91 per hour.
The policy proposal, which is part of Conservative plans to end youth unemployment, was announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in a speech on Tuesday.
The new scheme will apply to about 50,000 young people aged 18-21 who are “most at risk of starting life on benefits.”
“What these young people need is work experience and the order and discipline of turning up for work each day,” Cameron said in a speech in Hove.
“So a Conservative government would require them to do daily community work from the very start of their claim, as well as searching for work.
“From day one they must realize that welfare is not a one-way street. Yes, we will help them, but there is no more something for nothing. They must give back to their community too.”
Community work could include helping in care homes, working in local parks or for charities. Most young people are expected to undertake three months of community service.
Social media users reacted angrily to the announcement. Twitter user Jess Waa said, “Tory logic: getting people to work for free in jobs such as care work. Putting care workers out of work because people will do it for free.”